Chandrashekhar Bawankule Appointed Maha BJP Prez

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By: Rajgopal
Updated: 12 August, 2022 10:09 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Just before the crucial elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appointed Chandrashekhar Bawankule as head of its state unit in Maharashtra on Friday. In another significant appointment, Ashish Shelar has been given charge of the party in Mumbai.

Both the posts were waiting for new appointments as incumbents Chandrakant Patil and Mangal Prabhat Lodha had joined the cabinet of Chief minister Eknath Shinde.

Bawankule, who is an OBC, is a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC). He represented Kamthi Assembly in the Maharashtra Assembly in 2004, 2009 and 2014. In 2019, he was denied a BJP ticket. He was also energy minister in the 2014–19 Maharashtra government led by then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Shelar served as Minister of School Education, Sports, and Youth Welfare in the government led by then-CM Fadnavis from 2014 to 2019.He has been a three-time MLA from Bandra West in Mumbai and is also the BJP’s chief whip in the Legislative Assembly. He has been a vocal critic of the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray.

Chief minister Shinde had led a rebellion against then Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray. This led to a fall of the MVA government, where NCP and Congress were coalition partners led by Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray.

On June 30, Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister and Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as deputy chief minister. On Tuesday, the cabinet was expanded to include nine members each from the rebel faction of the Shiv Sena and the BJP.

Shelar has a background in RSS’ student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). He was Mumbai secretary of the ABVP and later headed Yuva Morcha in Mumbai.

Bawankule, who had worked at different levels in the party in Nagpur, is considered close to Union minister Nitin Gadkari. He was the party’s vice-president and later president in the Nagpur district.

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